Good things to eat

Stuffed things

My old roommate and I always used to call them that.

I suppose they would be “stuffed tomatoes” or “stuffed peppers” or stuffed whatevers but we never really knew what we would be stuffing so it was safe to just call them stuffed things.

This recipe is based on my memory of my roommate’s mother’s so hopefully I will remember it all.

First start by getting some “things”.

As mentioned before, you can stuff pretty much any vegetable that can have a hole in it!  But you usually always need at least some of them to be tomatoes because you need the tomato innards as part of any filling.

So for the sake of this exercise, we will use tomato.

Start with some nicely shaped tomatoes, wash them, give them a little slice off on the bottom so they will sit up straight without too much of a fight.  Then carefully cut around the top going in quite deep like you might do with a pumpkin when making a jack-o-lantern!

Then grab that whole circle of tomato flesh ( don’t pull by the stem cause it will just come off and ruin your presentation potential) and give a gentle turn and pull the whole piece up.  You should have a tomato cap with a sort of “root” on it now.

Cut off the excess bottom of the lid and drop it in the food processor.

Then get a sharp spoon and scrape out all the tomato innards into the food processor and then repeat with each tomato and place them in a baking dish.

Hollow out tomatoes

Meanwhile, back at the food processor.  Add:

  • 2 – 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • good handful of fresh mint, stems removed or 1 tbsp dried
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • salt & pepper

Give that all a good whirl up in the machine till it is all nice and chopped.  Then transfer to a mixing bowl where you will add about 1 pound of ground pork and 1/2 cup of uncooked rice.

This part is a little trial and error.  I always use whole grain brown rice which takes longer to cook so if you want to par boil it a little first that’s okay.  Or if you have left over cooked rice you can go with that but add a full cup instead.

Mix all of this thoroughly.

Pork, rice and spices "stuffing"

 Now you are ready to start stuffing your “things”.

Gently spoon mixture into each one and give them a firm push down to make sure they are well packed.

Replace the caps and then put just enough liquid in the bottom of the dish to cover it.  I used broth but water is fine too.  Then cover them with tin foil and place in a 375 degree oven.

Stuff the tomatoes and replace lids

Bake them for about 45 minutes or until the rice is cooked.   Check on them and take a little taste to see if the rice is cooked.  Then replace in the oven uncovered for about another 10 minutes just to brown up the top.

Then remove and enjoy.

Stuffed tomatoes

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